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Saturday, 30 April 2016

Mapping Elections - Malaysian Style

Recently, my map mind was reminded that I need to cover a hot topic coming up in Malaysia. On May 7th, Sarawak (the Land of Hornbills) - the biggest state in Malaysia is holding a state wide elections. Unlike other states, Sarawak does not conduct the state and parliamentary elections on the same time.

Credit : Cerevisae (Wikipedia)

Interestingly, the elections in Sarawak is happening amidst two big issues rocking Malaysia:

  1. 1MDB (State Investment Firm) Scandal - global level scandal - which has destabilized the ruling (BN) federal government (of which Sarawak State government is an appendage to ruling powers in Kuala Lumpur). The leadership of Prime Minister Najib Razak has been severely attacked by within his party and the opposition for the financial mismanagement of 1MDB. A solid victory in Sarawak would bolster his position in the party and the government
  2. New test for the reborn but fractious opposition coalition for a state wide election. While it is inconceivable that opposition (previously PR, now PH) will deny the ruling state government 2/3 majority, they made great headway in 2011 elections. However, with the popularity of current Chief Minister of Sarawak and infighting in the opposition, the image presented by opposition by the voters is dented.
This post is not about political analysis but how we can use map visualizations to gauge where the voters preference lay.  Presenting to you:

  1. Sarawak 2016 Election Analysis - Toggle between three map layers to understand correlation of population density, political tendencies, seat fights and effect of 2015 redelineation on the electoral outcome. Designed by Danesh Prakash Chacko  View the Larger Map
  2. Sarawak 2nd Round of Electoral Redelineation (2015) - Switch between layers to see the correlation of ethnicity, voting preferences and impact of redelineation on the electoral outcome. This map was designed when Election Commission was still proposing the 11 new seats and changes to the borders. Designed by Danesh Prakash Chacko View the Larger Map
  3. Sarawak Electoral Redelineation 2011 and 2015  - Slide and swipe the map to see how the electoral boundaries have changed and whether the jarring gap between voters values have been addressed. Designed by Tindak Malaysia View The Map
Credits for the Information needed to build the Map : Tindak Malaysia, Borneo Post. These maps exception of 3rd map do not reflect the views of the data providers Tindak Malaysia and Borneo Post.

Please let me know what other information should I put for the map - we need to see feasibility of adding new information. Enjoy!



  1. What a innovative idea to applied GIS on political analysis, the post looks great! From my perspective, since you have successfully illustrate the area where one candidate have high approval ratings, we can identify other area where can provide similar environment for the candidate with similarity search in GIS.

    Probably, we can compute the compact index or shape_area of each unit and combined this spatial attribute to conventional similarity search (which based on attribute table only), so that probably you can have a rough estimate on which city should the candidate focus on.

    1. Thanks Fu Xuanming for your positive comment. Could you explain bit more on the procedures you mentioned?